21 January 2014 19:05 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--A Mexico-based expandable polystyrene (EPS) producer announced a February price increase of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne) based on higher feedstock costs, sources said on Tuesday.
Polioles announced the 3 cent/lb increase, effective on 3 February, according to a copy of a customer letter obtained by ICIS. It was not clear if other producers had made a similar announcement.
According to the letter, the proposed increase is based on a recent jump in the price of benzene, which is trading as much as 13% higher than the January settlement of $4.84/gal. Styrene spot prices have also hit record highs because of the higher benzene, with one deal heard as high as 80 cents/lb last week.
The proposed February increase is in addition to a 4 cent/lb price increase announced for January, according to the letter. Sources have said that increase has found partial acceptance in the market.
So far, no price increase announcements have been heard from US producers, sources said. However, some producers have said an increase may be necessary if benzene prices continue to climb.
Current Mexico EPS prices were assessed by ICIS at 116.50-119.50 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for block material and 112.50-115.50 cents/lb for package material.
Major North American EPS producers are BASF, NOVA Chemicals, Flint Hills Resources, Styrochem, Nexkemia, Polioles and Polidesa.
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